If you are involved in an accident involving drones please report it to our reports accidents website

Drones come in a huge and diverse range of forms.  These vary from the small, hand-held radio controlled versions which are for sale to young people as an alternative to model aircraft and are being used in their gardens and open spaces, right through to the ones that are being used in industry and by an ever-widening range of businesses as they are being proven to save manpower in many different areas.

It's important for riders to have some understanding of drones and the legal restrictions surrounding them, should they be encountered when out riding. This awareness should help you to reassure your horse, and reducing the risk of him becoming spooked by such random flying objects.

The operation of the aircraft must not endanger anyone or anything.

The aircraft must be kept within the visual line of sight - normally taken to be within 500 m horizontally and 400 ft vertically - of its remote pilot i.e. the person in charge of it. Operations beyond these distances must be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Small unmanned aircraft that are being used for surveillance purposes are subject to tighter restrictions with regard to the minimum distances that you can fly near people or properties that are not under the pilot's control. To fly within these minima, permission is required from the CAA before operations are commenced.

CAA permission is also required for all flights that are being conducted for aerial work i.e. in very simple terms, you are getting paid for doing it. The 'remote pilot' has the responsibility for satisfying him/herself that the flight can be conducted safely.

The aircraft must not be flown:

  • over or within 150 metres of any congested area
  • over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons
  • within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft
  • within 50 metres of any person except during take-off or landing, the aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person except for the person in charge of the aircraft.

Please refer to the air navigation order on the CAA site for specific details.

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